Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and the three top leaders of opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan today signed a rare joint statement pledging to finding common ground in “lowering the political temperature” as advised by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
In the statement co-signed by Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng and Mohamad Sabu, the leaders said there was mutual agreement on strengthening the function of Parliament and making it more transparent.
“We also agree and understand the importance of the independence of the judiciary, institutional reform and good governance to ensure a more conducive environment for the people and the country in the framework of the Malaysian Family,” the leaders said, in reference to a phrase Ismail had used in his maiden speech as prime minister on Sunday.
This follows a meeting between Ismail and the three leaders at the Prime Minister’s Office earlier today, seen as in keeping with palace advice that the new government work together with the opposition in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
Anwar had after emerging from the meeting indicated that the opposition would not vote against Ismail in the event of a vote of confidence in the prime minister.
In their statement, the leaders said the meeting had focused on the interests of the people and on finding the best common ground for tackling the pandemic, safeguarding lives and freeing the people from the grip of economic uncertainty following the loss of jobs and income.
In introducing the “Malaysian Family” tag line on Sunday, Ismail had said that he empathised with the people in their struggle to weather the pandemic.
He also said that the common enemy of the “Malaysian Family” was the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that the recent power vacuum and the change in government should be a thing of the past.